Open to people aged 18 and over with any level of disability, IT Skills 4 All Abilities teaches basic computer skills alongside accredited entry-level qualifications in literacy, numeracy and life skills.
The programme offers courses that run six times per week teaching skills such as how to access the internet and find information. Class members are set up with email addresses and social networking accounts so they can interact with others and research the things they are interested in.
“One of our most popular courses is photography,” says general manager Stephanie Kirkman-Meilke. “We teach photography itself as well as all the computer skills that go along with it”. Lottery funding has allowed the programme to buy computers and disability-adapted equipment, which has made a huge difference to the quality of teaching. With greater processing power, teachers have been able to spend more one-to-one time with each individual. “It provides so much more than just computer skills: it’s somewhere they can come, get a cup of tea and have someone to talk to”, says Stephanie.